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  • Profile photo of nmw

    nmw 20:43:33 on 2016/11/09 Permalink
    Tags: , , actualization, , , , , , , , identity, , , interaction, , , , , marketplaces, , , self-actualization, , , , , social network, social networks, ,   

    For some, we get lost in media 

    I opened up a copy of the New York Times today, and in an empty space within an article, there was a blurb that reads

    Social networks put individuals at the center of their own media universes

    — I am not even sure I understand what that is supposed to mean. Let alone the notion of a plurality of universes, the idea that media are not between people but rather like belly buttons for individuals to discover themselves within … I just find it mind-boggling. Then again, according to the surrounding words in the article next to this message, social media are depicted as breeding grounds for “fake news”, as cesspools for propagating mythical stories, for manipulating large populations of suckers into following this or that social media expert, leader, salesman or whatever.

    “Social” is seen as the big mistake, the errant sidetrack from the collapsing foundations of journalism. Four words seem hidden somewhere in between the lines: I told you so. Naive and forlorn like Dorothy in a dizzying whirlwind, individuals end up as victims of lever-pulling hackers, clowns and con-artists. Social media transport hoaxes and fairy tales, yet they are also instruments targeted at novice users, training wheels to guide their first steps in the cyber-landscape. The virtual world is both for the light-hearted at the same time that it’s a wide field of thin ice. Throughout this portrayal, the real world is not embodied in media. Instead, real-world people with real-world addresses exist behind real-world mastheads printed on real-world paper. They carry real-world business cards, not fake virtual URLs.

    Real-world buildings, with real-world street addresses, real-world telephones and such media are the physical conduits for real-world relationships. In contrast (so the argument), virtual facades evaporate into thin air as soon as a video screen is turned off.

    This contrast might be all good and fine, except that it is a lie. None of these things are any more real than the other. Main Street is nothing without the street sign signifying it as such. The reason why we can agree to meet at Main Street is that we both understand it to be Main Street, and this agreement is based on us both understanding how to read street signs. Indeed: we agree on many things, of which such street signs are fine examples. We can also agree on the time of day, to speak the same language, or to answer each other’s questions succinctly and truthfully. Such agreements are crucial for us to help each other reach our goals, whether we hold the same goals in common, or whether each of us is trying to reach our own particular individual goals.

    By reaching our goals, we become not only successful, we also become who we are.  We actually self-actualize our identities. For example: a writer does not simply exist, he or she becomes a writer by writing. A worker becomes a worker by working. A buyer becomes a buyer by buying, a seller becomes a seller by selling, a consumer becomes a consumer by consuming and a producer becomes a producer by producing. As these last examples show, sometimes we can only self-actualize when other conditions are met, and sometimes these conditions also require the engagement of other people. In this sense, reaching our own goals involves a team effort — as, for example, a sale involves the teamwork of both a buyer and a seller.

    Therefore, the real world is not so much a matter of separated individuals as it is the interaction and engagement of individuals with each other in a symbiotic process of self-actualization. We become who we are by interacting with one another. Our goals aren’t distinct and separate, they’re intertwined. We need to think of media as bustling marketplaces for such exchanges to take place, rather than as sterile and inert transport mechanisms. These are not empty tubes simply bridging gaps, they are stages for playing out our roles in real life.

     
  • Profile photo of feedwordpress

    feedwordpress 18:01:44 on 2014/04/03 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , employee, employer, , , , , identity, , , labor market, narcissism, narcissistic, , , product, , , , self promotion, , , , , , , west, western   

    What is right / wrong, good / bad about self-promotion 

    In the 20th century, self-promotion acquired a bad name. I think I can explain why, but explanation is rather complicated.

    After the modern capitalism was invented in the 18th century and became widely established throughout the western hemisphere in the 19th century, the 20th century further developed capitalistic enterprise on a strong foundation, as social organization and supportive legal frameworks spread across the globe, especially in the “free market” economies of the so-called “developed” nations and the countries that comprised what simply became known as “The West”.

    In particular, employment became the economic cornerstone of many such western economies. People no longer worked for themselves, increasingly people worked for companies… and companies sold products and services. The “labor pool” was conceived of as an ever-present and adaptable supply which a company might hire at will (or not). By and large, the supply of labor became a clandestine market in which employers could choose to invite candidates behind closed doors and offer those deemed willing and able to do as ordered to become employees.

    More and more humans became beings with the qualification and the ability to follow orders. As time went on, those characteristics which qualified and enabled humans to follow orders became the quintessential characteristic of the free market human being. For the vast majority of people, entrepreneurial spirit became completely eradicated — and by the end of the 20th century it was all but completely destroyed in the social fabric. The most marked sign of this thwarting of the human spirit is the notion of “unemployment” — the state of not having a job in which the employee follows the orders of his or her master or boss.

    Today we live in a world in which we have inherited a social order that frowns upon insubordination — because subordination has become the defining characteristic of a well-adapted individual. A person who freely declares to be willing and able to do something by themselves is treated with utmost skepticism. We do not expect our products and services to be offered by people. We expect such things to be companies with brand names. We value the brand, not the person.

    It is in this vein, that the person who engages in self-promotion is today seen as narcissistic and perhaps even anti-social. The main thing that is bad or wrong about self-promotion is that society tends to condemn it (and this is especially true of free market western societies based on “labor market” / “employment” capitalism). The main thing that is right or good about self-promotion is that it establishes a healthy and self-confident self-image… — it is the socialization of self esteem. A society that supports self-promotion enables its members to identify themselves as willing and able to function in a socially productive manner.

     
  • Profile photo of feedwordpress

    feedwordpress 08:21:56 on 2013/07/30 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , identity, , , , ,   

    Brands are Real-World Manifestations of Corporate Ego 

    Why are strong corporate brands prized, but strong individual egos despised?

    Ego

     
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